Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

Hunters, Predators and Prey: Inuit Perceptions of Animals

By: Frédéric Laugrand (Author), Jarich Oosten (Author)

424 pages, 34 illustrations

Berghahn Books Ltd

Hardback | Nov 2014 | #214652 | ISBN-13: 9781782384052
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £74.99 $92/€84 approx

About this book

Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. Laugrand and Oosten examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, the authors discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered "prey par excellence": the caribou, the seals, and the whale, symbol of the whole. Hunters, Predators and Prey concludes with a comparative analysis of the ethnographic data presented in the book.

"This is a fascinating contribution to the ethnography of the circumpolar North and the growing literature on human-animal relationships. The authors have assembled a rich and authoritative compendium of Inuit knowledge and tradition aimed at the animals that surround them [...] Perhaps unique to any other collection it takes local animist categories seriously such that Inuit concepts take a position front and centre before European concepts such as 'spirit' or 'soul'."
– David G. Anderson, University of Aberdeen

"The strength of the text lies in its use of extensive quotes from the Inuit. This allows the Inuit voice to be heard clearly through the discourses of Western thought."
– Christopher Trott, University of Manitoba


List of Figures


Chapter 1. Theoretical Perspectives
Chapter 2. The Animals and Their Environment
Chapter 3. Becoming A Good Hunter

Life and Death

Chapter 4. The Raven, The Bringer of Light
Chapter 5. Qupirruit, Masters of Life And Death

Fellow Hunters

Chapter 6. The Dog, Partner of The Hunter
Chapter 7. The Bear, A Fellow Hunter


Chapter 8. The Caribou, The Lice of The Earth
Chapter 9. Seals, The Offspring of The Sea Woman
Chapter 10. The Whale, Representing The Whole

Comparison and Conclusions

Appendix I: Inuit Elders

Glossary of Inuktitut Words

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Frédéric Laugrand is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Universite Laval and Director of the journal Anthropologie et Societes. He is the author of Mourir et Renaitre. La Reception du Christianisme par les Inuit de l'Arctique de l'Est Canadien (PUL, 2002) and co-author with Jarich Oosten of Inuit Shamanism and Christianity: Transitions and Transformations in the XXth Century (MQUP, 2009), The Ethnographical Recordings of Inuit Oral Traditions by Father Guy. Mary-Rousseliere (2010), Between Heaven and Earth. The Recollections of Felix Kupak (2012).

Jarich Oosten is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He is the author of The War of the Gods: The Social Code in Indo-European Mythology (Routledge and Kegan, 1985). He and Frédéric Laugrand have co-edited books in three different series at the Nunavut Arctic College. The two have co-authored Apostle to the Inuit (University of Toronto Press, 2006), The Sea Woman (Alaska University Press, 2009) and Hardships of the Past: Recollections of Arviat Elders (2011).

Bestsellers in this subject

The Invaders

NHBS Price: £22.95 $28/€26 approx

The Missing Lemur Link

NHBS Price: £64.99 $80/€73 approx

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters

NHBS Price: £23.50 $29/€26 approx

The Society of Genes

NHBS Price: £20.95 $26/€23 approx

The Bonobo and the Atheist

NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx